Photographic Journey Part 2 – DSLR

Grown Up Camera Time

After a lot of research, I decided to purchase a Canon 7D DSLR. I chose that camera for the following reasons:

  1. It was within my price range
    2. It was an alloy body and felt big, heavy and real
    3. It got great reviews
    4. It was a Canon and there was a marginally better selection of affordable glass
    5. I was familiar with the menu structure, having previously used a Canon G12.

I didn’t want the kit lens, it was a plastic toy and would spoil the effect. And to be fair, the effect was as important as anything else like image quality. So after lots more research and vacillating, I decided on the Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L lens. When they arrived and I put those two together I didn’t ever want to put them down. I even photographed them together on my phone so I could look at them while I was at work. Surely one of the most wonderful things I’d ever set eyes on.

Everything about it was amazing, from the image quality, to the look, feel, heft and sound of it. It was something to be immensely proud of and I carried it like my wife would carry a  Prada handbag.

Now I am first and foremost about image quality when it comes to equipment. But I would be lying if I said that how it looked and felt was not a major factor. I think I could be perfectly happy just researching, purchasing and playing with photographic equipment for the rest of my life and never taking another photo. But my budget doesn’t stretch that far so I also take photos whilst looking for the next bit of kit.

I quickly became afflicted with GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrome). Whereas I thought I had a perfect solution with my perfect carry round zoom lens, I soon realised I could only take decent landscape photos with a wider angle lens. So I bought a Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6 EX DC.

And then I was complete.

Until I realised I needed a lens with some reach if I was to do justice to my step son’s passing out parade. Now I had already spent my budget, and I was in no way going to lower myself to buying a cheap plastic lens. It was L lenses or their equivalent quality all the way for me.

I’ve always been one for enjoying the anticipation of acquiring something new. The lead up to Christmas is as enjoyable, if not more so, than the unwrapping on Christmas day. So I was quite happy in a way, reading up about the Canon 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM lens and just plain old wanting it. Firstly it was white, which meant professional looking. Secondly it got a good write up. Thirdly, it had a bit extra reach than the 70-200mm and lastly, it was within a potentially achievable budget if I saved for a year or so. As it happens, my wife wanted another dog, a pedigree. The cost of the dog was vaguely the same value as the lens I wanted. I thought I saw an opportunity so I put forward a proposition. A dog for a lens. She went for it without hesitation and very soon after I had a grey import telephoto lens. (And a second dog). It was wonderfully heavy on the camera (the lens not the dog) which was very pleasing as I’d worked out that the heavier the kit, the better I looked and the better my photos would be.

Now I was complete.

Until I realised that I could get smoother bokeh and take better photos in darker places without a flash if the lens was f/2.8 or less. My f/4 – f/5.6 lenses were obviously completely inadequate indoors. Also, I had seen my son’s friend with a Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L on his Canon 5Dll and realised I would never be complete without one of these faster lenses. So I used some birthday money and other savings to purchase a Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8 Di VC USD.

Now I really did have everything I could ever need.

Although I did wonder briefly if the Canon 50mm f/1.8 lens might provide even smoother bokeh. As it was also quite cheap I decided to get one of those too.

What else could I possibly want? Well, I bought two decent flashes, a budget studio lighting kit for Christmas complete with backdrops, stands, clamps etc., tripod, bags, straps etc. etc. etc. I developed an insatiable thirst for gear that was only held in check by the finite number of my children and kidneys I could sell (just joking). Although I did work out that I could upgrade to full frame if I took a trip to Eastern Europe and had a small weight reducing operation for the benefit of someone in need of a spleen.

So now my loft was getting full of photographic gear and my life was complete.

And then one day I came across an advert for a Fujifilm X100s…..

To be continued.

You can see some of my photos on my website. But wear sun glasses because they are dazzling mhbphoto.uk

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